by Robert H. Stymeist, Statistician


During 2000, the Brookline Bird Club listed 305 species of birds on 228 reported trips, four more than last year. A total of 290 trips were scheduled, an all-time high for the Club. They broke down as follows: 73 all-day, 180 morning, 31 afternoon or evening, and six weekend trips. A very high number of trips went unreported (a gentle reminder to leaders to return the checklist provided with a stamped envelope). Sixty-two trips were not reported, of which only 16 were weather-related. In Massachusetts, the Club reported a total of 296 species on 217 trips.

One new species was added to the overall Brookline Bird Club list of birds, the Tropical Kingbird recorded on an extension of a Cape Cod trip on November 18. This bird, first found on November 8 at World’s End in Hingham, represented the first state record for this species in Massachusetts.

The Club scheduled one trip to the Dead Creek area in Vermont, famous for wintering raptors. A total of 24 Red-tailed and 16 Rough-legged hawks were noted as well as 2000 Snow Geese.

There were two weekend trips to Maine. Ida Giriunas, on her annual trip to Machias Seal Island and surroundings, led 10 members through many different habitats and recorded 98 species, including 4400 Arctic Terns, 1600 Razorbills, 40 Common Murres, 3000 Atlantic Puffins, two Boreal Chickadees and a Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow. Alan and Barbara Delorey led a trip to the Connecticut Lakes region of northern New Hampshire, one of eight trips to that state. This trip was scheduled for boreal species and the five members who joined the leaders delighted in finding Spruce Grouse, 3 Black-backed Woodpeckers, 2 Gray Jays, and 7 Boreal Chickadees among the 99 species recorded.

This year, the Club had a dramatic increase in the number of pelagic trips, scheduled primarily through the efforts of Emmalee Tarry. A total of 13 trips were listed, three of which were dedicated charters including one to the far off-shore area of Cashes Ledge. Other trips were on whale watches from Newburyport, Gloucester, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Provincetown.

The Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS) Checklist (11/98) now includes all the species that have been identified in the state, as determined by the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC). The Club recorded the following species listed on the new list as very rare or as accidental species:


Eared Grebe                                        Gloucester      January 2

Greater White-fronted Goose            Fairhaven        January 22

Tufted Duck                                        Plymouth        January 9

American Avocet                                Plum Island     August 19 & 20

Franklin’s Gull                                     Newburyport November 5

Tropical Kingbird                                 World’s End    November 18


Missing from the Club list in 2000 were: Little Gull, Black Skimmer, Thick-billed Murre, Acadian Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Golden-winged Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, and both White-winged and Red Crossbills (in Massachusetts).

The Club visited Essex County most often, with a total of 130 trips (67 to Newburyport and Plum Island area, 41 to Cape Ann, and to 22 other spots in the County). Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge was second with 50 trips, 14 more than last year. There were also 40 scheduled trips in the Metropolitan Boston area, 12 trips each to the South Shore and Sudbury River Valley areas, six trips each to areas on Cape Cod and Central Massachusetts, and five trips to areas in Western Massachusetts.

A special thank-you to the 80 leaders who guided our members throughout the year. Several leaders deserve special mention. Steve Grinley led an impressive 28 trips, Bill Drummond led 22 trips, John Nove led 16, Bob Petersen and Bob Stymeist each led 11 trips and Soheil Zendeh led 10 trips.

The biggest trip list was, as always, Bill Drummond’s spring trip on May 20 with 114 species. Bill commented on how it was a poor migration day but nonetheless recorded such goodies as the only Cattle Egret of the year, two very late Ruddy Ducks and a Whimbrel, a species uncommon in spring. The next best trip list was 95 species recorded on a sweep of Norfolk County on May 13 led by Glenn d’Entremont.

The Club recorded nearly 82% of all the birds that were noted during 2000 – pretty impressive! A total of at least 363 species were observed and reported by birders across the state during 2000.

The Tropical Kingbird was the only new bird added to the official State list. Other impressive species seen during the year were: Yellow-nosed Albatross, both White and Brown pelicans, Swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites, Yellow Rail, Purple Gallinule, Wilson’s Plover, Black-necked Stilt, South Polar Skua, Bridled Tern, White-winged Dove, Boreal Owl, Rufous Hummingbird, Northern Wheatear, Mountain Bluebird, Black-throated Gray and Townsend’s warblers, Black-headed Grosbeak, Spotted Towhee, Henslow’s, Harris’ and LeConte’s Sparrows, and Hoary Redpoll.

Weather-wise, 2000 was colder than normal and had above-normal precipitation. In Boston the temperature averaged 50.6 degrees, just 7 below normal. This was 2.2 degrees cooler than 1999 and the coldest since 1992. The high reached 92 degrees in Boston on June 17 and the low, 0, on January 17. Summer was well on the cool side. There were not many hot and humid days, making it a delightful and comfortable season. Rainfall totaled 45.83 inches, 4.32 inches more than average for Boston. The wettest month was June with 6.61 inches and the driest was August, with 2.22 inches in Boston. Days with measurable amounts were 133, nine over the normal number. Snowfall in Boston was a meager 28.5 inches, 13.6 inches under the average.


Birders were undaunted by the hype over Y2K; most of us ignored the warnings of the year, shut off our computers and went to bed early to start a New Year of birding.



Dick Corneau, Harwich                       319

Bob Bieda, Northampton                   318

Seward Highley, Brewster                  318

Joe Paluzzi, Beverly                             318

Mark Lynch, Worcester                      316

Sally Clifton, Hyannis                          315

John Hoye, Wayland                           312

Audrey McCarthy, Wayland               309

Susan Hedman, Manchester              302

Herman D’Entrernont, Somerville      287

Glenn d’Entrernont, Randolph           283

Fred Bouchard, Brookline                   282

Oakes Spalding, Cambridge                280

Bob Styrneist, Watertown                  279

Laura de la Flor, Salem                       277

Bobette Wicks, Westwood                 259

Jerry Soucy, Rockport                         252

Ian Lynch, Salem                                 251

Nancy Eaton, Enfield CT                      250

Larry O’Bryan, Arlington                     237

Larry Jodrey, Rockport                        233

Adams Little, Cambridge                    191